JPS meets standards in state assessmentJamestown Public School students met overall required proficiency scores in reading and math, according to results from the North Dakota Assessment students take each year. The School Board analyzed the test scores at its regular meeting Monday. The North Dakota Assessment is similar to the Adequate Yearly Progress assessment school districts take every year as part of No Child Left Behind. If schools do not make their AYP proficiency goals, they may not qualify for some federal funding. Jamestown Public Schools met its AYP goals in 2008-2009, but did not meet the goals the year before.
Jamestown Public School students met overall required proficiency scores in reading and math, according to results from the North Dakota Assessment students take each year.
The School Board analyzed the test scores at its regular meeting Monday.
The North Dakota Assessment is similar to the Adequate Yearly Progress assessment school districts take every year as part of No Child Left Behind. If schools do not make their AYP proficiency goals, they may not qualify for some federal funding. Jamestown Public Schools met its AYP goals in 2008-2009, but did not meet the goals the year before.
The district has not yet received its scores from the 2009-2010 school year.
“We’re definitely going in the right direction (this year)” said Superintendent Bob Toso.
Schools must meet proficiency requirements overall, but they must also meet the goals within subgroups like low-income students or students with disabilities.
In 2008-2009, 78.6 percent of Jamestown students were proficient in reading, compared to 76.7 percent throughout the state. That same year, 84.4 percent of students were proficient in math, compared to 76.8 percent statewide. No Child Left Behind requires 78.2 percent proficiency in reading and 67 percent in math.
Math scores within the district saw the highest increase — from about 74 percent proficiency in 2007-2008 to 84 percent proficient in 2008-2009.
“I think these are the things that are going to keep us moving forward,” Toso said.
In other news, the School Board tabled a decision to approve its calendar for the 2010-2011 school year.
Unlike most school years, according to the proposed calendar, Jamestown Public Schools will hold classes on Nov. 5, the first Friday in November, when many families celebrate the opening of deer gun season. About 25 percent of students miss class that day, Toso said, so the district traditionally cancels school.
Under the proposed calendar, classes will be in session that day because the district has a four-day weekend the next week. Students have Nov. 11 off because of Veterans Day and Nov. 12 off because of parent/teacher conference day.
The issue of contention with the board, however, was not the opening of deer gun season, but rather President’s Day. The proposed calendar allows for Feb. 18 off because of conferences, but not Feb. 21. Feb. 21 is a holiday for many government and financial employees, said Gail Martin, School Board member. Those families may prefer that day off rather than the 18th, she said.
The calendar, however, was designed by a calendar committee consisting of school staff members who preferred Feb. 18, Toso said.
Members Scott Walch and Rosemary McDougall said the board should respect the committee’s decision.
“I think we should honor their requests” McDougall said.
A motion to switch Feb. 18 to a school day and Feb. 21 to a holiday failed in a 4-5 vote with Walch, Greg Allen, McDougall, Tanya Ostlie and Gary Peterson opposing.
The motion to table the calendar’s approval passed in a 6-3 vote with Mindi Grieve, Ostlie and Roy Musland opposing.
In other business, teachers and administrators updated the board on the Read 180 program that the district implemented this year. The Read 180 program is typically for students at least two levels behind average reading levels for their grade.
Currently, the program is funded with stimulus dollars.
“It’s their favorite class, they’re excited to be there. I have kids say to me ‘I’ve never read a book before,’” said Anjie Horn, who teaches fourth and fifth graders at Lincoln and Louis L’Amour elementary schools.
The board also approved a 5 percent raise for administrators not including Toso or Sally Ost, business manager. The cost of the raise is $76,900 and is within the budget, Toso said.
Also, school board members will be present at parent/teacher conferences set for 3 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 9 and Feb. 11 at the elementary schools and 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16 and Feb. 18 at the middle school and high school. The School Board members will be available to hear comments and concerns from the public.
The next regularly scheduled Jamestown Public School Board meeting is at 5:15 p.m. Feb. 15.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com